Like many industries, the energy and utilities landscape became heavily affected during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic’s disruptive nature had many providers facing many challenges, most of which were a result of COVID-19 affecting service delivery, changing customer expectations, customers undergoing financial hardship, and difficulties in retaining their customer base.
The focus on CX continues to be heavy – and in the energy and utilities industry, there is growing pressure to meet the shifting expectations of today’s digitally savvy customer. Fast resolution, personalized and relevant experiences, and available technology to help them with their issues are only a few customer needs which must be addressed by providers. In a previous blog, we’ve mentioned several key points to help providers reimagine utility customer engagement:
- Feed customer’s appetite for tech-enabled solutions
- Support customers through a blended customer contact center to retain brand-agnostic customers
The Industry Today: Digital Developments
The rise of digital technology has greatly impacted the energy and utilities sector, prompting it to change and adapt with the times. Today, satisfying customers may mean incorporating digital services to a provider’s support strategy to drive accuracy, satisfaction, and quicker responses. Furthermore, data and developing technologies continue to empower providers and customers, such as IoT, smart appliances, cloud-based services, smart metering, and solar technology. Let’s take a quick look at how the industry – and its customers – are powered by digital services and technology.
IoT and Data for Efficient and Optimized Management
Smart appliances are gaining popularity in recent years. It runs on IoT technology that allows data to be transmitted or communicated through smartphones or laptops. By having access to real-time data, providers can use it to offer tailored solutions to customers and improve energy efficiency.
Smart metering also results in valuable data. Operational data plays a role in customer segmentation. Analyzing this data can aid providers in expediting the process of distributing metered data when it’s time for customers to pay.
Edge Computing Technology
According to BizTech Magazine, edge computing technology is only forecasted to “grow in 2023 and beyond.” Edge computing, explained briefly by Kinetica CEO Nima Negahban in an article by The Enterprisers Project, is “data analysis that takes place on a device in real time.”
Edge computing is tapped to play a critical role in determining how customers are consuming energy.
AI and automation
Automation and AI-enabled solutions are already everywhere across all industries. In the industry, AI and machine learning can detect patterns that might affect energy management. With AI and automation, providers can also identify gaps or anomalies related to power theft or energy fraud, thus driving security and protecting their assets.